Absolutely delighted for St Johnstone, who recorded one of the finest aggregate results by a Scottish club in European football in the last 30 years. My brother was speaking to a Saints player this week, who told him the successful strategy and drive came from chairman, Steve Brown, a fact which Hibernian would do well to ponder today.
Malmo’s 0-7 victory at Easter Road yesterday was chastening ahead of our game against fellow Swedes, Elfsborg on Wednesday. Celtic are in a remarkably strong position now, having produced excellent on and off-field results for the first time in the modern era, but those seven goals last night (not to mention the multitudes we shipped preseason) are a cautionary tale. It’s also worth remembering that Rangers decline into liquidation was precipitated by Champions League elimination at the hands of Swedish opposition two years ago (“Larsson has scored”). Wednesday presents a huge challenge.
As soon as I heard the stadium announcement on Tuesday I knew there was trouble in store from Uefa. The second pyro punishment will lead to a heavier fine. Celtic’s statement yesterday advised of matters of concern to Glasgow City Council Safety Advisory Group, who issue stadium safety licence, regarding a whole range of issues (overcrowding, lateral movement, moshing, body surfing). What to say about 131 broken seats? Ouch.
The club and Green Brigade (whose members occupy only a part of section 111) have met and we carry on as normal for now. Question is, can either control everyone in the section? I hope so but it’s a big ask. All it takes is one off-message person keen to ‘stick it to the man’, and there’s a long season ahead. Place your bets, folks.
Our thoughts are with Paul Lennon and the Thai Tims after the news that one of the boys who sang on the Celtic videos died in a road accident while another is critically ill.
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